A Guide to Winter House Fires and How to Prevent Them | SERVPRO® of Romulus
Wondering how to protect your home from fire this winter? Learn why SERVPRO should be your first call for fire damage.
In an interesting phenomenon, when the temperatures begin to dip lower, the rate of house fires begin to increase.
Winter is always the most common time for house fires in the U.S. to occur, and there are several factors that combine to create their increase. By understanding why this happens and how to best prevent these winter-specific fire starters, individuals can practice a season-specific type of fire safety.
<h3guide-to-winter-house-fire-reasons">Your Guide to Winter House Fire Reasons
An Increase in Cooking
Consistently, cooking is found to be the top cause of house fires beginning at any time of year. Not only does this remain true in the winter, but the rate of cooking fires continues to increase. Large dinners, unfamiliar recipes and multiple cooks in the kitchen may be to blame, but practicing cooking safely every time is a good place to start.
The Risk of Heaters
During cold winters, exclusively using your home’s central heater can cause astronomical bills, which has led to the rise of personal heaters and wood stoves for warmth. While these methods can be safe, using them improperly leads to the cause of the second-most winter fires each year. These are a great way to save, but only if they are used safely.
Candles and Decorations
Winter is also the most common time for holiday decorations, which can lead to new hazards that arise as they are pulled out of storage. Components of string lights and other electronics are susceptible to wear and tear, leading to frays or overheating that can start a fire. Candles are another common type of decoration, but their open flames can do damage if left unattended.
<h3to-prevent-winter-fires">How to Prevent Winter Fires
Being aware of the risks specific to winter fires is a great place to begin as you work towards fire safety during the winter months and year-round. By being cautious when cooking, heating and decorating in the home, individuals can do a lot to make sure activities are safe.
Here are some other fire prevention tips that are important to note:
- Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
- Always monitor open flames.
- Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
- Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
- Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.
If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.
Versions of Home Damage After a Flood | SERVPRO® of Romulus
Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Romulus is here to help when storms strike.
Though the damage that floods can cause is not news to homeowners located within floodplains, even homeowners elsewhere are beginning to take note of the dangers. Floods happen more often than they used to and can cause far more damage to homes even in unsuspecting areas.
There are multiple reasons why flooding may occur and they can damage homes in many ways. Because we have experience with many flood-damaged homes, we have been able to identify the types of damage that are common.Common Types of Flood Damage
Foundational Damage. The foundation of a home is generally as sturdy as the ground underneath it, but that can lead to trouble when a flood occurs. Because the soil under floodwaters becomes waterlogged, it can unexpectedly move and swell, leading to house damage.
Drywall Damage and Mold. Drywall that has become damaged in a flood should always be replaced due to concerns about contaminated water and the health effects of mold. Drywall is adept at hiding mold growth behind its panels, making replacement the only choice for safety.
Insulation Saturation. The way insulation is protected from exposure is through drywall, but if the drywall becomes damaged, the insulation will as well. Insulation panels can absorb quite a bit of water, making them ineffective and a culprit for hidden mold growth.
Temporary Frame Swelling. The frame of a home is generally made of solid lumber, which is good news when discussing flood damage. Though the lumber will swell if waterlogged, it will generally maintain its structural soundness once it returns to its regular size.
Appliance Ruining. Appliances should always be evaluated by a professional after a flood because some may be salvageable while others may be dangerous. Many appliances are constructed with insulation within their walls and cannot be saved, but others will be salvageable with a thorough cleaning.
Furniture Damage. Furniture that is upholstered will often require replacement after a flood, due to contamination concerns and the unlikelihood of thorough drying. However, glass, wood and metal furniture will often retain usability as long as they are professionally cleaned afterward.
If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 24⁄7 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.
Make Sure You Can Count on Your Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Romulus
Having a team on your side after a disaster can help relieve stress. SERVPRO of Romulus is here to help when a fire strikes.
Practicing fire preparedness is an essential task year-round, but with winter approaching, it is even more of a concern. Home fires peak during the winter months according to the Red Cross, with the time around the holidays being especially dangerous.
Being certain you know what to do in the event of a fire occurring will be invaluable to your peace of mind. A solid emergency fire plan will help protect you in the moment, and knowing your restoration company of choice will be useful to get your cleanup process started right away.
<h3importance-of-proper-fire-restoration">The Importance of Proper Fire Restoration
Being able to put your faith in your fire restoration company is key. We have a 24-hour emergency response line so our clients can always have the assurance that we will respond quickly and perform high-quality work once we arrive. When a fire occurs, here are the ways we perform restoration and help you reclaim your home:
Proper structural repairs are key to the sturdiness of your home, which is why we take them extremely seriously. We will perform thorough testing to determine the severity of your damages, and then our crew will begin restoration. Whether it is your home’s frame, walls or floors that become damaged, we can remove soot and provide reconstruction for you.
Restoring the inside of your home is extremely important to feeling like things are back to the way we were, which is why we use wet and dry cleaning methods to take care of cleaning your contents. We can handle a variety of objects such as art, kitchen wares and electronics and ensure they are safe for use once more.
Even after the structure and the contents of your home have been repaired, smoke and soot odors can linger. Not only can these be a nuisance, but exposure to them can lead to health issues down the road. That is why we make use of technology that can scrub the air of these harmful compounds, so you can breathe without a worry in your home.
If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 24⁄7 to help you recover.
What to Know About Ice Dams
Winter is here and that means heavy snowstorms are heading your way! Along with these storms are ice dams, one of your home’s worst nightmare. Be prepared this winter and know the hazards of ice dams.
What is an Ice Dam?
An ice dam is a rim that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow from a draining roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to the interior such as walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas.
What Causes Ice Dams?
Ice dams occur when melted snow refreezes at a roof edge. The melt-water then runs down toward the colder eave overhang and then freezes. As the ice assembles, it forms a blockage that prevents the snow melt from running off the roof. The ice begins to back up under the roof shingles, where it melts once again, soaking the roof and leaking into the attic. Once it begins leaking into the attic, it soaks the insulation and can leak through the ceiling and into your living space. Larger ice dams can be extremely heavy and can also damage gutters as well as being a safety hazard to people.
A Simple Breakdown of an Ice Dam:
- Heat collect in the attic and warms the roof, except for the eaves.
- The snow melts on the warm roof and then freezes on the cold eaves.
- Ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam. Then, melt-water from the warm roof back up behind it, causing it to flow under shingles, and into your house.
What Happens When Ice Dams Enter your Home?
- Gutters can be torn off
- Loosen shingles
- Water leakage in your home
- Peeling of paint
- Warped floors
- Stained ceilings
- Damp insulation which could lead into mold
How to Prevent Ice Dams:
- Remove snow from roof. This can be done by using a push broom or a roof rake.
- Cool off your roof! Heat escapes from the living spaces and rises to your attic.
- Improve the insulation in your attic
- Improve the ventilation in your attic
- Look for places where heat is being sent directly to your attic, then either block or move them.
- Get the right roof. Consider getting an ice and water shielding under your roof. Ice and water shielding will not prevent ice dams, but it will keep water out of your home!
If you find that you home has been damaged by ice dams, do not hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of Romulus. Our highly trained professionals will fix water damage, remove mold and restore your home with lightning speed. Call us at 734-992-3138.
Space Heater Reminders as We Head into Winter
Keeping warm in the winter months can be challenging, especially living in Michigan. Homeowners often use space heaters to help keep warm. Although these heaters are effective for providing extra warmth, they can also be very dangerous.
What you should know:
- 80% of home heating fires involve space heaters.
- 32% of home heating fires are caused by space heaters.
- 24% of home heating fire deaths were due to space heaters placed too close to furniture, bedding, clothing or upholstered.
- 50% of all home heating fires occur in December, January and February.
What you should do:
- Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- 3 Ft. Rule. Make sure the space heater is at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.
- Do not place a space heater in a damp room. Humid air can cause the space heater to short, leading to an electrical hire.
- Never leave a space heater on when you leave the house.
- Make sure all smoke alarms are working and are on every level of your home. It is also recommended to test them monthly.
- Always place the space heater on a hard, level and nonflammable surface.
- Avoid using an extension cord. Plug a space heater directly into an outlet with enough capacity.
In case of a home heating fire, SERVPRO of Romulus is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly. Give us a call at 734-992-3138
Cleaning up Fire Damage in your Romulus Home
Fire and smoke damage can be the most devastating things to happen to your home. Once the fire is put out and everyone is safe, it is important to act quickly on cleaning up the damage.
The first 48 hours after a fire can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration. These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible.
Here are some WHAT TO DO tips while waiting for a SERVPRO Franchise Professional to arrive:
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating lubricant.
- Was both sides of leaves on house plants.
- Change HVAC filter, but leave the system off until a trainer professional can check the system.
What NOT to Do After Water Damage:
- Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contracting your SERVPRO Professional.
- Attempt a shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
- Attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
Before you risk doing further damage by attempting to clean up the damage yourself, call SERVPRO of Romulus at 734-992-3138. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals work hard to help fire damage “Like it never even happened.”
What to Know About Blackwater
A flood can be devastating and a dangerous experience, whether it is big or small. To stay safe, it is imperative to understand the hazards of black water.
Blackwater is referred as wastewater that is contaminated with human waste and other fecal matter. Blackwater comes from flush toilets and contains human waste including:
- Fecal matter
- Used Toilet paper
Raw sewage is also considered as blackwater. Blackwater is full of dangerous bacteria and pathogens, causing serious health threats to those who encounter it. The unsanitary liquid can cause illness in both humans and pets.
It is also important to be aware of greywater after a flood. Instead of human waste, greywater includes household wastewater containing water from:
- Bathtubs and showers
- Washing machines
If you are experiencing dangerous water from flooding, it is best to limit your contact with it. Do not try to clean up the water yourself, call our SERVPRO team instead. Our team will act quickly to remove dangerous water and restore your home “Like it never even happened.”
Call us at 734-992-3138 for more information regarding flood damage and how you can be prepared.
If your home floods, call SERVPRO
It is tragic when a flood brings devastation and water damage to a home. But rapid water removal, clean up and repairs certainly must get under way for you home to get back to normal with minimal losses.
Safety is a top priority. After the flood damage, evaluation of the home's safety issues must be completed before you dare to enter your home again.
You do need to call your insurance agent to ascertain if you are covered under your standard home owners policy or if you do possess flood insurance. An insurance adjuster will be dispatched to your property to inspect the damage and eventually offer a settlement. Ask for help in retaining a competent water damage restoration company. SERVPRO does work with many agencies and municipalities in Michigan. We can assess and document all water damaged items, help you with your claims and paperwork, and expedite the water removal and restoration. We can check your home for structural damage and any possible electrical issues since water and electricity are a dangerous duo. This inspection will indicate to you the severity of the water damage that your home has suffered and any potential health issues you may have to address during the process of getting the flood damage repairs done on your home.
When these concerns have been addressed, and if you have been given permission to enter your home, you should also document all the flood causing water damage for insurance purposes. Be sure that you do take pictures of the flooded areas of your home and any damaged belongings, including damaged furniture. This, along with the input from SERVPRO, will help you to be fairly compensated by the insurance company.
Once you have done the documentation and the adjuster had done his inspection, then the clean up starts to get under way. The home needs to be made dry and needs to be cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent any other damage from occurring. This will also lessen the likelihood of mold and mildew growth. Contamination is a given if the flooding is the result of groundwater intrusion, whether from rain, bodies of water, or a sewage blockage. Do not attempt to clean and sanitize on your own. The potential for future illness is too great.
It is wise to call the professionals from SERVPRO; because they can immediately begin to pump out the water and mitigate on-going water damage. And they have the skill and knowledge, along with the professional equipment required to start and complete the entire restoration process for you.
After the water removal and clean up are in operation, then repairs need to be done. They could be extensive, depending on how much structural damage has occurred and the condition of the contents of your property. SERVPRO can start with water removal and finish your project with complete water damage restoration "Like it never even happened."
Fire damage in your Romulus home?
Fire damage incidents happen very frequently. They can cause issues in the home. Many things cause fires. Among the common causes of fires are lightning strikes, cigarette mishaps, electrical issues, and the most common--kitchen accidents. In many cases, you can extinguish flames quickly. The damages are minimal. However, some fires last a long time and can result in greater damages done to the property.
A small fire can cause a staggering amount of damage in a home. Often, it is only a particular room in the home that is charred, but the damages may have an extension beyond that area. For one thing, smoke that comes from the fire can fill up the whole place. The smoke often circulates in several rooms. Smoke damage occurs when acidic ash or chemicals react with metals, plastics, and wood. Corrosion often occurs. Smoke can permeate the carpets and other soft surfaces such as fabrics, drapes, and clothing. Soot is the by-product of partially combusted plastics, vinyl, and other non-cellulose fuel sources. This results in stains because of the oily nature of soot. SERVPRO utilizes specialized dry sponges to clean carefully hard surfaces. With proper technical work, using the IICRC standards of cleaning, many materials can be salvaged (think drywall) ready for repainting. Why demolish building materials if restoration, rather than replacement is an option? The professionals can remove damage caused by soot and smoke by also cleaning and deodorizing the HVAC system.
You should call a professional when there is a fire of any consequence because only a professional fire damage restoration service can thoroughly take care of the fire and smoke damages done to the home. There is a process involved in repairing the ruin done to the home. This process includes the assessment of the home. They need to dry the water that has resulted from the fire. There is also an inspection that needs to occur. After the review and the assessment process, the restoration work can begin.
SERVPRO of Romulus/Taylor is one company that is well equipped to handle fire damage. Employing ozone machines, thermal and chemical foggers, and air scrubbers, these highly skilled experts will return your home to its pre-fire damage condition "Like it never even happened."
Let SERVPRO help your home
Although there are many challenging matters that residential property owners must handle following a fire, smoke damage can be a uniquely difficult remediation process. However, learning more about how smoke damage can impact your property and what steps you should take to restore your home can help you avoid anxiety and limit fees on repairs. Get the basic information you need on these important matters by reading the information provided by SERVPRO.
Why Smoke Damage Remediation Can Be Challenging. The complications and difficulties result from several issues, including that the smoke can permeate all areas of your home. Moreover, toxic chemicals from the smoke can generate substantive health risks, if present. Additionally, there are multiple kinds of smoke that can exist on your property. Each class requires a different set of treatment chemicals and equipment to ensure that the removal process is effective. For example, dry smoke from wood and wet smoke from plastics react to cleaning products in distinct ways. Attempting to remove smoke or soot with the wrong process or chemicals can further damage property by sealing the unwanted odors and stains into your carpets, floors, ceilings, and walls.
How The Professionals from SERVPRO Can Assist You. Although the smoke damage can seem like an overwhelming issue to deal with, securing professional remediation services can be immensely helpful. Smoke damage remediation specialists possess the licensing, certification, and equipment necessary to complete each component of the restoration process. In many cases, insurance agents provide homeowners with referrals to reputable smoke damage remediation companies. Our company is listed as a preferred vendor by many insurance and management companies. Many government fire and smoke damage projects have been performed by SERVPRO.
Why A Smoke Damage DIY Cleanup Usually is Unsuccessful. Smoke damage remediation is a process that you should not attempt to complete on your own. Homeowners rarely possess the specialized equipment and cleansers necessary to complete the work properly. Special foggers utilizing a variety of chemicals for destroying odor causing smoke and for deodorizing are needed. Puff-back from a furnace can inject soot into the unseen voids of the structure leading to staining and unwanted odors. Additionally, not having the proper protective clothing and gear can put you at risk of inhaling residual fumes from the fire or the cleaning products. Finally, there are several aspects of the remediation process that must be completed to ensure that your home is once again a safe, sanitary place. Disinfecting and sanitizing require extensive job knowledge and field training.
Let SERVPRO Handle Your Smoke Damage Remediation Needs. Once smoke damage in your property requires remediation, delaying service only adds to the cost, the amount of lost personal items, and secondary damages to the structure. SERVPRO Industries, LLC training, based upon the cleaning standards of the IICRC, provide our skilled technicians with the knowledge to restore your home to its preloss condition whenever possible. Like it never even happened.
24-Hour Emergency Fire Restoration Service
Fire emergencies can happen without warning and don’t wait for regular business hours, so we’re ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including holidays.